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Chess


Published 1965


A personal experimental stop motion film made by educational filmmaker, Thomas G. Smith. About the film, Tom wrote the following in the third person: "Chess (1964) was an experimental, stop-motion film shot using a spring-wound, 16mm Bolex, while Smith was in the Air Force (1962/1965). He had just played in an armed forces chess tournament. Though good enough to advance to the finals, he was in over his head and soundly beaten by a Marine Colonel in the Armed Forces Worldwide Chess Tournament. When he returned to his home base, Smith put his used camera to a test; filming, one frame at a time, making the chess pieces slide across the board. He had no script or plan when he started improving as he went. This resulted in a film with no sound. Two years later, while recording the improvised music track for “Food From the Sun,” Smith asked the musicians to take a crack at the chess film. They agreed and recorded the track in one take. Though primitive, “Chess” shows what can be done with no budget but a lot of improvisation. Much recognition must be paid to those who provided the sound/music. Alas, they did not get a screen credit and nearly 50 years later remain unknown."

Addition note from The Academic Film Archive of North America director Geoff Alexander: the soundtrack bears the earmark of the well-known Chicago avant-garde jazz group AACM http://aacmchicago.org/


Run time 5:00
Producer Thomas G. Smith
Production Company Thomas G. Smith
Sponsor Tom Smith
Audio/Visual sound, B&W


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